A single shot of DNA vaccine may help lower blood pressure for up to six months, says a new study.
According to the study in rats by American Heart Association, it suggested that the vaccine may eventually provide a novel alternative to treat high blood pressure in people, who would not need to take a pill everyday.
Dr. Hironori Nakagami, study co-author and professor at Osaka University in Japan, said that the potential of a vaccine for hypertension offers an innovative treatment that could be very effective for the control of non-compliance which is one of the major problems in the management of hypertensive patients.
Researchers have designed a DNA vaccine that targets angiotensin II, a hormone that raises blood pressure by causing blood vessels to constrict and this narrowing can increase one's blood pressure and force one's heart to work harder.
In the study, researchers immunized hypertensive rats three times at two-week intervals with needle-less injections. The vaccine not only lowered blood pressure for up to six months, but also reduced tissue damage to the heart and blood vessels associated with hypertension and there were no signs of damage to other organs such as the kidney or liver.
The DNA vaccine works similar to common ACE inhibitor blood pressure medications which help blood vessels relax and open up, which, in turn, lowers blood pressure.
The research is published in American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report.